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Things I Learned From Knitting (whether I wanted to or not)
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Things I Learned From Knitting (whether I wanted to or not)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  1,815 Ratings  ·  181 Reviews
The Yarn Harlot strikes again! Best-selling knitting author and humorist Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is back with an irresistible collection of witty observations on how knitting and life wisdom are spun together.

In Things I Learned From Knitting (Whether I Wanted To or Not), Pearl Mc-Phee examines age-old aphorisms in light of knitting. From "Hope Springs Eternal" to "A Frien
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 19th 2008 by Storey Publishing, LLC
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Dec 30, 2011 Amanda rated it liked it
Shelves: knitting
I ordered this book from Amazon on a whim, thinking I wanted something other than a pattern book for some light reading. This pocket sized book is a collection of musings from the Yarn Harlot paralleling life with knitting.

It was cute, if sometimes a little forced. I think anyone can find a knitting/life parallel if they try hard enough, and none of the anecdotes were earthshaking or eye opening. Pearl-McPhee rights with a quick wit and a sense of humor that makes the read enjoyable, though, an
Feb 11, 2014 Gwynneth rated it it was amazing
I read this book on one of THOSE days and promptly sent the author some well deserved karmic kudos. Boy, did I ever need the laughs.

Granted, knitters will be the most appreciative of this humor but trust me, any crafty kind of person, male or female, will enjoy this book. Just swap in whatever you use, thread, beads, glue gun, hammer, blowtorch, etc., and you'll be off.

I won't say anything else but instead, will share a few of the wonderfully humorous observations.

From the side bar, 1 of 4 th
Jan 30, 2010 Regina rated it it was ok
I tend to shy away from books that put a philosophical spin on knitting. I do not enter into some transcendent state of enlightenment as a result of knitting. Yes, it is a passion, therapy and outlet, but knitting has not taught me things, rather, life has and I am able to apply what I have learned to my craft. If anything, knitting is a microcosm of life with its increases, decreases and WIPs! How I approach knitting is as a result of how I learn to handle life. None the less, there were plenty ...more
Jan 10, 2016 Emily rated it it was amazing
This was honestly just adorable and made me giggle so many times. I found myself on several occasions reading out many bits to my family (none of them are knitters, but they live vicariously through me, sigh).

Also, CANADIAN AUTHOUR! 10 POINTS AWARDED TO GRYFFINDOR! (Seriously though, she actually lives in the same city as me, it's kind of a big deal, I'm really excited, I could run into her in a knitting shop somewhere and I could tell her I read the book and sincerely loved it, and she could li
Feb 10, 2014 Rita rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Knitters of any level
This little book is a humorous take on knitting written by a long time knitter, and she recounts the life lessons that she has learned from knitting. It draws parallels to real life situations and it's pretty funny. I guess you have to be a knitter to get the full enjoyment out of it! I found out that I sat there chuckling to myself during my daily commute yesterday while reading it. :)
Kathy Rudd
Aug 31, 2013 Kathy Rudd rated it really liked it
Hilarious collection of life's and knitting's little lessons. Fast read that I finished in one evening. I am not a very good knitter, I am much better at and prefer crochet. My relationship to yarn has taught me these lessons as well. If you have your own relationship with yarn, you will love this quick little read.
Nov 30, 2016 Kristine rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-challenge
The Yarn Harlot makes me smile. Sometimes she makes me laugh out loud. She knows exactly why I knit and that is soooo very very comforting...because most people don't get it. This is a charming little jem of a book. A love letter to knitters. P.S. I read her blog on a regular basis for sustenance.
penny shima glanz
Mar 31, 2008 penny shima glanz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: knitters
I was planning on waiting to purchase this book until I showed up at whatever venue Stephanie was speaking at (to say thank you to the book store or yarn shop). I was sad about this because if there is anything I’m impatient about waiting for, it’s a book that’s been published that I want to read. So imagine my delight when a good friend I’ve lost touch with sent it to me as a surprise!

What to say and how to say it? I see Steph as the older sister I don’t have. She’s smart, she’s witty, she’s ve
Aug 15, 2014 Nada rated it liked it
Shelves: knit-and-crochet
Review first published on my blog:

Things I Learned From Knitting is another collection of essays by blogger Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. As a knitter, I found myself laughing and nodding my head in agreement over a lot of the material. Anyone passionate about a craft will recognize that we all start to see our philosophy of life reflected in elements of our craft. Our crafts teach us, keep us busy, and enable us to show ourselves to the world. And they teach u
How can you not love a book that takes all the stupid mistakes you've ever done in knitting and turn them into one of the funniest stories you've ever read? Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is an excellent writer who weaves in profound truths that you thought you learned long ago (and yet, still think stuff like gauge doesn't really matter for This pattern) all the while making you clutch your stomach and complain of pain from laughter.

I heartily enjoyed this book, I almost couldn't stand reading it beca
Jul 08, 2013 Isabel rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
Gave this quite a bit of thought. I remember Stephanie Pearl from pre-blog days when I would get Knitlist delivered directly into my email inbox. I didn't even know what a blog was then, if the word had even yet been put into common use. Sometimes her post would seem so poignant and spot on that tears would come to my eyes and I thought they would never stop and other times I laughed so hard I thought the tears would never stop. Often I would read a post out loud to my then pre-teen daughter, ...more
Mar 23, 2012 Joy rated it liked it
After finishing that horrible book I just read for book club, I picked this one up as one of the few Yarn Harlot books that I haven't yet read. It was as enjoyable as her others, with the stories sorted as a list of "things knitting has taught me" interspersed with cute lists and statements of "what knitting is still trying to teach me." The content of the book was good, but it was much shorter than I was expecting although maybe this would have been apparent in the paper copy rather than the ...more
Oct 11, 2008 Natalia rated it liked it
Recommends it for: a gift for a new knitter, along with needles and yarn
Shelves: 2008, knitting
I was expecting something more like "The Secret Life of a Knitter", a book of longer essays with some personal experiences and knitting insights. I aparently mixed up this book with "Free Range Knitter" that's coming out soon. Unlike those two books, this is not a book for reading, it's essentially a "gift book" - full of short, pithy sayings and funny little blurbs. Like those little "You're the Best Sister" books they sell at Hallmark.

If I were putting together a little learn-to-knit gift for
Jun 06, 2012 Kerry rated it it was amazing
Things I Learned From Knitting…. Whether I Wanted To Or Not is a quick, fun read that is sure to amuse knitters (and anyone who has a knitter in their lives). There are some really funny laugh-out-loud moments (my personal favorites are “5 Things Worrying non-Knitters Have Warned Me About, 5 Ways Knitting is Better Than Video Games, 4 Things that are Really Funny When They Happen to Other Knitters, and a particularly cute letter from the author to her yarn stash) mixed with some thoughtful, ...more
Sep 16, 2011 Shélah rated it it was ok
I picked this up because I thought it would be amusing, and because there are very few books out there on knitting that aren't pattern or technique books - it seemed like a fun addition to my library.

Unfortunately, I found the writing (or humour, I'm not sure which) trite and - as such - not terribly insightful. From a more adept writer, I think this could have been a great little book. Or perhaps it should have been part of a blog.

Edit: I take that last bit back. Apparently she does blog. No w
May 22, 2008 Chelle rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
Like many knitters I enjoy reading Stephanie's books and blog. This wasn't as funny as the other books and it felt like the same thoughts and ideas as the previous ones and her blog were written about yet again in this book. I still did laugh out loud a few times and nod my head in agreement far too many times. I also will forgive her for the many, many, many sheep and wool references. Being a non-animal fiber knitter I'd like to read about adventures of knitting with alternatives as well. Come ...more
May 14, 2008 dreamer rated it it was ok
I feel like this was a repeat of her last two books, Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting. Granted, probably you can only write about knitting in so many new ways, but still.

And while I'll continue to read her books as they are released just because they are about knitting, reading this book only reinforced my theory that The Secret Life of a Knitter was Pearl-McPhee's best work.
May 03, 2008 Carolyn rated it liked it
I love Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (really I do - she is the one person who convinced me that a gauge swatch really is a mandatory thing from reading one of her books) but I think she is running out of things to talk about. I paid $10.95 for a miniature sized book where she repeated certain phrases, such as: "That said..." And the sheep at the end of every "thing" (as she calls it) really bugged me.
Jul 24, 2008 Gaelle rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Knitters only
Pearl-McPhee's witty and wry humor on knitting cracks me up. But you have to be a knitter to enjoy this book and to understand why knitting can be fulfilling and relaxing but so frustrating at the same time. I think I did prefer her previous titles:Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter and At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much. Her new books are now starting to be repeats of the old ones.
Mollie *scoutrmom*
Dec 24, 2011 Mollie *scoutrmom* rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the author
This book is not quite as funny as her earlier work. Take a look at the title again, and you will see that it is hard for this work to avoid being preachy in places, with all the best intentions.

It is just as heartwarming and interesting as her other work.

I think the difference is that the earlier books are a "best of" from a funny woman's blog. This was an intentional attempt at writing a book for publication.

I look forward to reading more by this author.
Aug 27, 2016 Danielle rated it it was ok
Meh. Tries too hard. A couple pieces made me giggle, but mostly it was uninteresting. I knit (A LOT), but I don't take it that seriously. It's an outlet for creativity, it's a hobby, it helps me manage stress and life, I use it to create fantastic cold-weather clothes. But I don't think it's the end-all and be-all of life, and I clearly don't take it seriously enough to 'get' this book. Comes across as trite.
Apr 27, 2008 Mary rated it liked it
Recommends it for: knitters who have not read her other books.
i had high hopes for this book, maybe Steph had new lessons that she's learned from knitting... it was just ok though. I like the stories, i just had hoped for different stories, like different lessons that she's learned, but it's the same as the other ones.

Maybe I would have liked it better if I got it signed in person, then at least I would feel attached to the book.
Jan 03, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: knitting
Another great read from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee! Stephanie looks at well-known philosophies and adages (think "Haste Makes Waste") and applies them to the knitterly world. Light-hearted, witty, and thoughtful, Stephanie's latest effort had me chuckling, nodding, and feeling very good about my knitting, erm, habit.
Jul 30, 2008 Molly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Knitters and their friends
This is a great book to give as a gift to a knitter, or even a friend of a knitter, as it will shed light on the behaviours and quirks of said friend. From a "letterwith my stash" to the strategizing a yarn sale, this is a bunch of fun to read, and is great for moms who have only moments between satisfying the immediate needs of their kids.
Jul 22, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
I'm not sure what people were expecting out of this book that they rated it so low. I wanted a silly little book that would entertain me for a couple hours and let me commiserate with it. That's what this is. It's not meant to be deep or anything.

I would give this to someone who wants to understand some of the "inside jokes" of knitters to read. :)
Apr 09, 2008 Omly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: knitters
Stephanie's writing style never fails to be a bright spot in my day. This book is presented as a list of lessons to be learned from knitting. Some are thoughtful and reflective. Others are amusing, though perhaps only in sympathy at times. Any knitter could find a lot to empathize with these short essay-style "lessons."
Sep 12, 2013 Ray rated it really liked it
A very fun book of short essays . . . . something to pick up when you have a few minutes to read or to carry in the car for those "little waits." I love Stephanie's blog and enjoyed this book very much.

PS - I like the fact that she puts new content in her books rather than compiling blog posts into a book like so many authors do.
Jodi Ralston
Apr 25, 2014 Jodi Ralston rated it really liked it
Good book. I'm a wannabe knitter (I even have some yard sale yarn and needles). Not only does this book inspire me to want to (someday) open that forgotten drawer and move from wannabe to actual knitter, it is entertaining. Cute insights, funny voice. Anyone with a hobby or passion can relate to and enjoy this book. And it's pretty too.
Apr 13, 2008 Christine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008, knitting
If Dave can count his graphic novel as one of his books, then I'm totally counting this as one of mine.

This is a cute little books, full of different stories about 'things learned from knitting'. If I had sat down and read it all at once, it probably would have taken me an hour. But it was cute and make me laugh out loud a few times. Best part is, I get to see the author speak next month!
May 09, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it
This was a fun, quick read book. Any knitter would enjoy it. The author talks of things that only a kitter would understand such as gauge swatches, how we fool ourselves about how long it really takes to knit somehting, and the best responses to questions such as- "why knit socks when you can buy them?" I did enjoythis book and hope to read others by her in the future.
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Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (better known as the Yarn Harlot) is a prolific knitter, writer and blogger known for her humorous but always insightful anecdotes and stories about knitting triumphs and tragedies.
More about Stephanie Pearl-McPhee...

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“You don't knit because you are patient. You are patient because you knit.” 21 likes
Five things I'd rather do than swatch for my new project

1. Get a spinal tap.

2. Scrub the bathtub after all three of my daughters have come home from "Sandbox day" at the park.

3. Babysit two-year-old triplets while simultaneously diffusing a bomb.

4. Bathe a cat.

More quotes…